RATES: The 2017 legislative session will be contentious, complicated and confusing. If you want to reach the new legislature every morning, you should
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CANCER: Palliative care treats the patient as well as the disease. It brings trained specialists, doctors and nurses together as a team to manage symptoms and improve quality of life during serious illness. It works when it’s available – join the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network in making sure all Minnesotans can access it. Ask your lawmakers to create a state palliative care advisory committee in 2017. SIGN: http://bit.ly/2hCZ2XG (SPONSORED: American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network)
TODAY: At 9:30am on Tuesday, January 3, 2017, Governor Mark Dayton will hold a media availability in the Governor’s Reception Room. In the afternoon, Governor Dayton and Lt. Governor Tina Smith will host a reception for new members of the Minnesota Legislature. Throughout the day, Governor Dayton will hold budget meetings with Lt. Governor Smith, commissioners, and staff.
TUNEIN: Gov. Mark Dayton will be on WCCO Radio 830AM with Dave Lee at 7:20., Sen. Majority Leader Paul Gazelka will be on WCCO 830 AM at 8:10 AM, and Speaker Kurt Daudt will be on at 8:20.
TODAY: At 12:00pm on Tuesday, January 3, 2017, Lt. Governor Tina Smith will open the 2017 Session of the Minnesota Senate.
SENATE: 10 AM cookies & coffee reception before and after session room 123 Capitol. 12:00 Floor session oath of office, votes to confirm the Senate President and Secretary of the Senate, and organizing resolutions.
HOUSE, First Day of Session and Swearing-In Ceremony begins promptly at noon in the House Chambers.
ERA: via news advisory from ERA Minnesota, VERBATIM: “Equal Rights Amendment activists from various parts of the state of Minnesota will gather in Room 400S of the State Office Building at 9:00 AM to kick off their third ERA Day At The Capitol.”
PRAYER: via news advisory from the Minnesota Family Council, at 9 AM in the Rotunda VERBATIM: “Join us in praying that God's wisdom would be sought by and given to returning and first-term legislators, that pro-life, pro-family, pro-religious liberty legislation would advance, and that individuals, families, pastors, churches, state allies, and national allies would be faithful to engage all session.
LEGISLATION: “More than 100 lawmakers, medical professionals, researchers, patients, and volunteers attended ACS CAN Minnesota’s Research and Innovation Breakfast to learn how ACS CAN and other groups will be working to improve palliative care in Minnesota during the 2017 state legislative session.” QUOTE: “Here in Minnesota, ACS CAN is collaborating with allies across the state to establish an advisory committee on palliative care to guide state lawmakers in developing better policies to help patients, families, and survivors deal with the side effects and consequences of major illness,” said Stacy Steinhagen, KEYC News 12 anchor and event host. READ: http://bit.ly/2fUWC8R (SPONSORED: American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network)
ISSUES: via David Montgomery at the Pioneer Press, HHS$: “Republicans plan a big push to rein in the state’s spending on poor, sick and disabled Minnesotans, which has grown from 21 percent of the state’s budget in 1990 to 30 percent in 2015. Some Democrats are open to this, but Dayton says the state should increase its spending in this area to help people in need and to relieve pressure on local governments currently dealing with them.” TEACHING: “Both parties want to overhaul the way Minnesota licenses teachers to make the system more fair for educators trained in alternative programs and out-of-state. They also need to deal with a growing teacher shortage in key specialties like science and special education.” MORE: http://bit.ly/2iukQbx
NEWBIES: via Heather Carlson at the Post Bulletin, VERBATIM: “The way Rep.-elect Barb Haley sees it, being a first-year lawmaker is a lot like being a college freshman. HALEY: "Anytime in your life when you start a new job or you move to a new city, it's a similar concern as a college freshman," the Red Wing Republican said. "Who is going to be my friend? Who is going to sit with me at the lunch table? Do I know my way around from one building to another?"…Haley is one of three new lawmakers from Southeast Minnesota who will be sworn-in Tuesday in St. Paul. Joining her will be Sen.-elect Mike Goggin, R-Red Wing, and Rep. Duane Sauke, DFL-Rochester. They are among 23 new House members and 21 new Senate members taking office in the GOP-controlled Legislature… Goggin, Haley and Sauke are all political novices, having never held elected office before. They are all getting a crash course in legislative politics. That means attending new lawmaker orientation, exploring the Capitol complex and meeting with constituents ahead of the 2017 legislative session…Goggin said he has been deluged emails, phone calls and letters from residents in Senate District 21 eager to weigh in on major issues before the session starts. GOGGIN: "It has been a whirlwind," he said. "I'm out every night whether it's down to St. Charles to meet with the school board or Goodhue or going to Wabasha and to Red Wing and everything else." READ: http://bit.ly/2iyAdOu
MONEY: via the St. Cloud Times, VERBATIM: “The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) estimates that Minnesota credit unions provided over $115 million in money savings benefits to the state’s 1.6 million members during the 12 months ending in June 2016. Their estimates indicate that this is $71 savings per member or approximately $134 per household…And while these are averages, consider that credit unions regularly provide members with lower interest rates on car loans or home mortgages, fewer fees on services and higher savings rate yields. Plus, they offer all the conveniences and services of any bank, including online banking and mobile banking…Credit unions are unique financial institutions; they function as a bank, but their cooperative structure allows them to provide customers with great financial benefits. QUOTE: “Credit unions are non-profit,” says Lindsay Salzbrun, branch manager of the Waite Park and Sartell locations of Great River Federal Credit Union (GRFCU). “Instead of having shareholders, like a bank, a credit union is owned by our members.” READ: http://bit.ly/2iuMUcW (SPONSORED: MN Credit Union News)
SESSION: via Tim Pugmire at MPR, VERBATIM: “DFL Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt had a public falling out last month over a proposed special session to address rising health insurance costs, tax cuts and public construction projects…Asked about the implications, Dayton offered a bleak prediction for the 2017 regular session. DAYTON: "A very difficult one. Very, very contentious. Very charged with the politics of 2018, people running for governor and wanting to stage confrontations to build their standing with their own party, and their visibility," Dayton said. DAUDT: Daudt, R-Zimmerman, described his relationship with Dayton as "damaged," following their public squabbling over the failed special session. He also said it's up to the governor to repair it…"This is a relationship business," Daudt said. "The governor is going to put forth an agenda, a budget that he's going to want to get passed. He needs relationships in the Legislature to pass his agenda. There's no other way to get it done. He can't sign a bill that we don't send him." READ: http://bit.ly/2hMVy9G
DAYTON: via Don Davis of the Forum Communications Service, VERBATIM: “Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton hopes 2017 will not be another 2011. QUOTE: “I am scarred by that experience,” the Democratic governor said about the 2011 three-week state government shutdown after he and Republicans controlling the Legislature could not agree on a new two-year budget…The big difference in the session that begins Tuesday, Jan. 3, incoming House Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa, pointed out, is that in 2011 the state faced a $3 billion deficit while in 2017 there is a $1.4 billion surplus…While six years ago, news stories frequently mentioned the possibility of a shutdown starting July 1, that is less likely this year. At least according to the numbers.” READ: http://bit.ly/2hMWDOA
HOT: Peggy and Joe for UCare on staying hot. WATCH: http://bit.ly/2iuIWB9 (SPONSORED: UCare)
BROADBAND: via Mark Fischenich of the Mankato Free Press, VERBATIM: “Minnesota state government has authorized tens of millions of dollars in grants to support expansion of the state's high-speed communications network into underserved towns and rural areas…A new report is recommending another $110 million be budgeted for the effort during the 2017 legislative session that begins next week. But while lawmakers and Gov. Mark Dayton have had well-publicized debates over the grant funding, the telecommunications industry has been winning quieter battles that may be undermining the Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant Program, according to Dan Dorman… Republicans will have a stronger voice at the Capitol following the 2016 general election, and GOP lawmakers have tended to be more skeptical of the grant program than Democrats. Dorman, a Republican former lawmaker from Albert Lea, said the Greater Minnesota Partnership will keep fighting for changes in the challenge process, for more broadband grants aimed at promoting economic development in outstate cities and for another major investment in the grant program.” READ: http://bit.ly/2iywAbn
MORE: via MNN, VERBATIM: “Republican Representative Pat Garofalo says technological changes and market forces will improve broadband access “way more than more government spending. Just like the government didn’t buy cell phone towers to bring cell phone service to rural areas, it’s the exact same thing with broadband,” he says...Garofalo says fiber-optic installations are very expensive and don’t make sense in low-density rural settings — but he says emerging technologies such as wireless could work. Garofalo ays “if the policy changes are made to allow for more wireless technologies, new emerging technologies, that gives us the opportunity to deliver broadband to way more people at a far lower price.” LISTEN: http://bit.ly/2iDL0cC
INSIGHT: via the Center for Rural Policy and Development, VERBATIM: “Many factors go into making broadband work both technically and economically for those who provide it and those who buy it. These factors include population density, provider choice, local choice and control, federal funding, even terrain…From helping businesses be more profitable to helping residents work from home, from expanded educational opportunities in rural schools to helping solve workforce shortages, broadband will only become more important as people find more uses for it…The discussion over broadband has grown so complex and is so fast-changing, though, it can be difficult to keep track of the issues. To help with that, we’ll discuss the basics of bringing broadband to Greater Minnesota and some of the points of debate.” READ: http://bit.ly/2i5tCKa (SPONSORED: RuralMN.org)
ENERGY: Minnesota’s rural cooperative electric utilities were created almost 100 years ago to make sure electricity’s benefits were available to farm communities and local economies statewide. Today, our rural electric co-ops are still driving the leading edge of energy innovation, constantly upping their offerings to member-customers while ensuring reliable, affordable electric service throughout the state. Register for CEE's Energy Policy Forum at the Minnesota History Center on January 12 to hear from field pros about how co-ops are adapting to emerging industry dynamics such as lower growth in customer demand, policy shifts, aging infrastructure, cheaper wind and solar, and increasing customer appetites for cleaner fuels and efficiency. AGENDA: David Saggau, President/CEO, Great River Energy; Beth Soholt, Executive Director, Wind on the Wires; Ryan Hentges, General Manager, Minnesota Valley Electric Cooperative; Jim Horan, Director of Government Affairs & Counsel, MN Rural Electric Association; and Jessica Burdette, State Energy Office Manager, Minnesota Department of Commerce. REGISTER: http://bit.ly/2h5JJJw (SPONSORED: Center for Energy and the Environment)
GPS: via Jay Kolls at KSTP, VERBATIM: A Hennepin County judge issued a temporary halt to the installation of devices, with GPS tracking capabilities, on the cars of thousands of Minnesotans convicted of DUI offenses…Ignition interlocks require DUI offenders to take a breathalyzer test before their cars will start. ..The judge cited a series of stories by 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS in her ruling and said, "news reports regarding the new, real-time reporting requirement and the potential constitutional issues created by GPS tracking...indicated that the Plaintiff would hold off on beginning to retrofit units until the issue between the legislature and DVS (Division of Motor Vehicle Services) was resolved." READ/WATCH: http://bit.ly/2iugkKh
TOURS: via AP, VERBATIM: “Training camp for state Capitol tour guides is nearly finished — and with little time to spare…A crush of visitors is expected when the building reopens early next month after a four-year, $310 million restoration. They’ll be shown around by a mostly new crop of guides who have spent the past few weeks preparing customized routes, fun facts and tour themes. QUOTE: “We don’t have scripted tours. We don’t give every interpreter, ‘Here is 10 pages you have to talk about,’” said Brian Pease, the Capitol site manager for the Minnesota Historical Society. “It really is an intensive training process because we’re having them build their tours from the ground up.”…The guides have had to dodge ladders, shimmy around scaffolding, scoot past tape blocking off corridors and crowd into rooms where antique furniture is lined up before it can be moved to its permanent spot…The soon-to-be blazer clad guides are intent on getting comfortable with the old and the new of the 112-year-old Minnesota Capitol, which reopens to the public on Jan. 3.” MORE: http://on.sctimes.com/2j3HWqD
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BDAYS: Rep. Jeff Backer, Marketer Ann Garrity, Twins President Dave St. Peter, Xcel’s Sara Barrow, Twins blogger Aaron Gleeman, solar business guy Jeremy Kalin, Rollag’s own Adam Axvig
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